To all my colleagues and friends who are feeling a bit dodge about work/life atm

So today I received an email from my favourite statistician in the world, who has taught me very much. In it he had – very intuitively – sent me a quote that I loved so much and thought it was so well timed with the current hiatus, that I just had to share it:

Until one is committed there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness.

Concerning all acts of initiative (and creation)  there is one elementary truth, the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: the moment one definitely commits oneself, the providence moves too.

All sorts of things occur to help one that would otherwise never have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one’s favour all manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings and material assistance, which no man could have dreamed would have come his way.

— W.N. Murray, The Scottish Himalayan Expedition

He did also confuse me completely by saying that “this is perhaps in some respects an artistic analogy of the Schrödinger’s cat thought experiment ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Schr%C3%B6dinger’s_cat )” <- which I simply don’t understand, but am not statistician.

Anyway, hope that gave people some courage!

8 responses

  1. Pingback: Tweets that mention To all my colleagues and friends who are feeling a bit dodge about work/life atm « Emma Mulqueeny -- Topsy.com

  2. Nice quote! I’ve also found it to be true in many small ways.

    By the way, don’t worry about the Schrodinger thing – quantum theory contains no useful advice on day to day living :-)

    • He did then explain himself after I wrote the blog post:

      “The analogy with the Schrödinger’s cat thought experiment is that

      - unless you do something/change something you don’t see the result

      -the act of doing something [in the Schrödinger's cat thought experiment opening the box] itself changes the state of the outcome in ways that are unpredictable

      I hope you are less confused

      Take courage..and if you cant find courage, you’ll need to find an alternative alcoholic beverage”

  3. Glad to have so successfully caught the zeitgeist. The analogy with the Schrödinger’s cat thought experiment is twofold

    - unless you do something/change something you don’t see the result

    -the act of doing something [in the Schrödinger's cat thought experiment opening the box] itself changes the state of the outcome in ways that are unpredictable

    I hope you are less confused

  4. ps this quotation is not to be confused with other forms of being committed …such as to a padded cell and subsequently being questioned by strange people wearing white coats :)

  5. What a fantastic quote! And piecing it together with Schrodinger’s cat adds an interesting twist, as just looking at alternatives starts the process of change. But it’s not until we commit that doors open and the alternatives are there to be assessed and taken or denied. Nice post!

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